Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Beginner French

When I arrived in the Nice train station I decided that Marseille was a good option, and would bring me closer to Spain. So I hopped on the next train and off I went! When I arrived I it was mid-afternoon, hot and I had no clue where I would sleep. So I got a map, and directions to the closest Internet point, so I could at least find out options. On my way to the Internet point I saw two fellow backpackers sitting in front of a
market. I asked them if they had just got to Marseille. Lucky for me, they had, and so I followed them to their hostel! I spent the next four nights in marseille. The girls I befriended are two swedish girls who were living in paris, Tove and Martina. Marseille was nice, but the beaches weren't that great and you can only spend so many days wondering with a camera around your neck. Luckily I had heard back from a couchsurfing duo in Avignon! So that's where I headed next, even though it changed my plans about going closer to Spain! I was met at the Avignon train station by France! Her roomate and best friend since they were 12, Laurence was waiting outside with the van. She took my oversized backpack off my hands, leaving France and I free to roam the city centre while Laurence ran errands with her son Antoine. Laurence met up with us a few hours later and we all headed home for a delscious homecooked meal! I only stayed for one night in Avignon, but France and Laurence went far out of their way to make my stay comfortable. The morning I left Laurence and I were the first to wake so we walked to the bakery across the street to get fresh croissants and pain au chocolat! Laurence doesn't speak English as well as France does, so all of our conversations consist of her speaking French and me responding in English. Because we can both understand the language when it's spoke to us, but responding is a bit tricky...but it worked out perfect for us. After breakfast France helped me load my photos online so I wouldn't risk loosing them, and she even burnt a cd of pictures to send home to my parents just invade something happened, we also book swapped. I gave her the book I had just finished and she gave me two novels she had, both set in France! They are two books written by the authors who wrote the books turned into movies...a good year with Russell crowe, and love actually...which is more of a Christmas movie. This quick and pleasant stopover in Avignon was ended by the whole family waiting with me on the platform for my train to arrive.
I was headed to Lyon! I had heard back from a couchsurfer who had room available for me. His name is Romain, a Lyon native! He has been couchsurfing for five years! So I fit into hos routine very well. He gave me spare keys to his apt for everyday he was at work and and cooked the most amazing food or dinner while I was here too, every meal was accompanied by a specially selected bottle of wine from his cellar containing over 200! Needless to say it's been a good visit to Lyon. Yesterday I spotted a guidebook for eastern europe in romains living room, which I took as a sign. So today, instead of heading further north towards
Dijon and paris, I am going east to Switzerland! tonight I will be staying with a fellow couchsurfer in Lausanne, Switzerland!

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